An Astros internship posting is causing some controversy

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I didn’t think anything when I saw a post over at FanGraphs yesterday advertising an internship opportunity with the Houston Astros. The job is an IT thing, developing database software and all kinds of stuff I don’t know anything about.  It’s unpaid.

But when you get into the comments, there are a lot of people going off on the Astros over this, arguing that an unpaid internship for such a highly-skilled position that will produce a valuable, tangible product for them is unethical at best, and possibly illegal.  One commenter links to this article as a point of reference.

I know nothing about the laws in this area so I refer you to the commenters there and appeal to the expertise of others in the interests of assessing this.  I will say, however, that it’s long been the case that baseball teams have paid little if anything for top-shelf office talent, using the sexiness of a baseball team on one’s resume as a lure.  And the fact is, they can get away with it because there are thousands who would love the chance to work in baseball, even for peanuts or, in this case, less than peanuts.

Illegal? I dunno. Simply wrong? Possibly. But I bet they have no trouble finding someone willing to take the job for nothing, because that’s how it has always gone in front offices.

(hat tip to Alex for the heads up)

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.